During Saturday night's Durham Bulls-Norfolk Tides game, Tampa Bay Rays shortstop prospect Hak-Ju Lee of Durham suffered a gruesome looking knee injury in the fourth inning. LJ Hoes of Norfolk hit a grounder to second baseman Tim Beckham, who flipped to Lee at short to try to turn a double play. Travis Ishikawa of the Tides slid into second base, and his head collided with Lee's left knee. Lee immediately fell to the ground in excruciating pain holding his knee, and eventually was helped off of the field without putting any weight on his left leg at all.
The 22-year old Lee was one of Tampa Bay's five best prospects coming into the season, and was off to a great start this season for AAA Durham, hitting .422/.536/.600 in 15 games. The Korean Lee came to the Rays in January 2011 from the Cubs as part of the Matt Garza trade. Chris Archer, another top Rays prospect, was also involved in the trade.
There were some rumblings that Lee could even get the call up to the majors this season if Yunel Escobar struggled, which he has thusfar this year with a .119/.200/.153 line in 17 games heading into Sunday's action. Lee's knee injury will clearly push his timetable back, and it'll be interesting to see if this injury affects his above average glove at shortstop in the future.